(Continued on other side)
(Continued from other side)
A delegation of Lake Alfred African American citizens petitioned the Polk County Board of Public Instruction to erect a school for their children. Permission was granted and the Fruitlands Institute opened in 1929, named for the local real estate company which donated the land. The school was a Two-Teacher Type funded by African Americans $600, Whites $350, Public $1836, Rosenwald $500. The school was taken down in 1964.
Erected 2018 by The City of Lake Alfred, FL, The Lake Alfred Historical Society and The Polk County Historical Association. (Marker Number PCHC-023.)
Marker series. This marker
Location. 28° 6.094′ N, 81° 43.127′ W. Marker is in Lake Alfred, Florida, in Polk County. Marker is on Third Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 700 N. Third Street, Lake Alfred FL 33850, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Cummings (approx. one mile away); Florence Villa Training School (approx. 4˝ miles away); Ephraim M. Baynard House (approx. 4.9 miles away); Bayard Retail Building (approx. 4.9 miles away); Patterson Retail Building (approx. 4.9 miles away); a different marker also named Ephraim M. Baynard House (approx. 4.9 miles away); Seaboard Air Line Rail Depot (approx. 5 miles away); "Flatiron" Triangle Building (approx. 5 miles away).
Regarding Fruitlands Institute. The first Rosenwald School opened in 1913 in Loachapoka, Lee County, Alabama about ten miles north of Tuskegee Institute. Booker T. Washington had a vision to build schools across the Jim Crow south for rural African American children. To fund these schools, Washington went north to Chicago, Illinois to pitch his idea to philanthropist and CEO of Sears Roebuck and Company, Julius Rosenwald. Rosenwald was very familiar with Washington and loved his idea. Washington made Rosenwald
On February 3, 1928 a delegation of African Americans from Lake Alfred, Florida came before the Polk County Board of Public Instruction (BPI) requesting a new school house for their children. The delegation was told that if they discontinue their current school for one year, the funds used to pay the teacher would instead be used towards erecting a new schoolhouse.
By September of 1928 the delegation had raised $300 and secured a grant from the Julius Rosenwald Rural School Building Fund. Frank C. Gardner, a founding father of Lake Alfred, and owner of the Fruitlands Real Estate Company donated the land. The BPI approved the request for the new school. The building was completed in time for the 1929 school year. The total cost was $3286. The funding sources were: African Americans $600; Whites $350; Public (taxes) $1836; and the Rosenwald Fund contributed $500.
The building plan used was a two-teacher type, east-west facing school. The school had no electricity or running water. There was a large bank of windows for each classroom. The classrooms were separated by a divider which could be removed for plays or community events. Another bank of windows for the industrial shop was at the front of the school.
Categories. • African Americans • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 8, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 31, 2019, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. This page has been viewed 87 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 31, 2019, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. 7, 8. submitted on April 5, 2019, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.